Thousands Call for Netanyahu’s Removal Across Israel

Crowds in Tel Aviv, near PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea, Jerusalem, Haifa, Karkur, Kfar Sava and other localities demanded Saturday night that the far-right prime minister removed from office immediately. 

Thousands of protesters poured into Habima Square in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against the far-right government and call for immediate elections.  Down the road from Habima, at Kaplan Street several hundred of the “Radical Block” activists, among them Hadash and Communist Party of Israel members, demonstrated against the war.

Hadash sign “Against Fascism” and “There is no military solution” banner at the protest held in Haifa, Saturday night, December 30, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Many of protestors bearing banners that were highly antagonistic toward Netanyahu and his fascist coalition, as well against the war in Gaza. “The cry of mothers: Get our soldiers out of Gaza now,” read one banner, while another called for “A diplomatic agreement.” “This is our life with Netanyahu in power. Catastrophe after catastrophe after catastrophe,” the demonstrators chanted.     

Saturday latterly families and other supporters gathered for an 11th straight week at the renamed Hostages’ Square outside the Tel Aviv Art Museum to call for the release of those being held in Gaza. Despite increasingly vocal criticism of the government over the lack of an agreement for their release, organizers have taken pains to keep the demonstrations apolitical.

Worldwide, activists have launched a global campaign asking people to turn the New Year’s countdown in their countries into a countdown for a ceasefire in Gaza, which has been under devastating Israeli bombardment since October 7. “New Year’s Eve is a moment of celebration worldwide, and an opportunity to create resolutions for a brighter future. With nearly 30,000 civilians killed, including over 10,000 children, our only New Year’s resolution is to call for a permanent ceasefire,” Countdown2Ceasefire, a London-based grassroots campaign, said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our aim is to morph the traditional New Year’s countdown into an influential and resounding countdown for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.” So far, the campaign has successfully been embraced by activists in over 30 countries, including Switzerland, Turkiye, Malaysia, Australia, Tanzania, Mexico and Germany, according to the organizers.

While ringing in the new year, these local events calling for a ceasefire will be livestreamed across Countdown2ceasefire’s social media platforms. “A permanent ceasefire is the first step in ending the current deplorable situation and a tangible move towards a future where traumatized communities can rebuild and recover,” Bushra Mohammad, a campaign spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Israel’s brutal military offensive in Gaza has killed more than 21,500 people and wounded more than 56,000 others triggering a global outrage, with protesters across the world rallying to call for a ceasefire. Many have also expressed their disappointment towards politicians and countries who vetoed or abstained from voting for a ceasefire at the United Nations. Rights organizations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Physicians Without Borders also condemned countries vetoing a ceasefire, warning that this would result in a humanitarian disaster.

On Saturday, the World Food Programme warned that it’s in a race against time to avert starvation for millions in Gaza. “Only a long-term ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access can end this,” the UN agency posted on X.